An extinct volcano, Mount Wenchi rises to 3,386m and the Afroalpine moorland of its upper slopes, studded with relict patches of natural forest, can be accessed along a 4×4 road connecting the towns of Ambo and Woliso. The densely cultivated caldera encloses a large and beautiful crater lake and the island Monastery of Wenchi Chirkos, founded in the 13th century by Tekle Haymanot, an Ethiopian saint recognized in foreign churches including in Egypt. In addition to boating across to the monastery, a local ecotourism association offers a selection of guided day hikes and pony treks ranging from the 4km Fincha Trail to the 16km Bagoba-Abagalalcha Trail, which follows the lakeshore before heading to the Dawala hot springs and waterfall. Only 10km to the east, Lake Dendi is nestled in a pair of near-circular 2km wide craters connected by a gap of only 100m in their shared rim.
What to See?
There plenty of things to see at Wonchi crater lake. The lake which called to be ‘ the Switzerland of Africa” is a joy to watch. The lake and its surroundings also keep an important bundle of biodiversity. The Hotspring and the bubbling mineral water elevate your experience better. Wonder with wooden craved boat captained by local ladies. The 15th century AD monastery of St. Cyrlius also one of the places of interest in Wonchi. The monastery is believed to have been established by King Zerea Yaecob in the 15th century AD. It hosts a large church bell, called the “Gondar bell” because it is said to have belonged to Emperor Fasilidas who reigned in Gondar.
Practical information before your trip to
Wonchi crater lake
Wenchi Crater Lake is 155 km west of Addis Ababa, between Ambo and Weliso. You can choose the direction of your trip according to your trip plan. But make sure you take your own rented car from Addis Ababa.
After paying entrance, parking fees and purchasing the obligatory guide at the office, you drive uphill for a kilometer to reach the departure point. You have the option of hiking the 4 km to the lake shore on your own or descending on horseback. The downhill trek is full of varied greens on the hillsides and the lake’s surface. After an hour and a couple of villages, a field opens to the shore and a small dock. You will have the opportunity for mule riding, hiking, and a boat trip.
The only lodging facility at Wonchi crater lake is camping. Make sure you bring camping materials and food items with you. If your trip program is a day trip there few basic accommodations in the town of Weliso and Ambo.